New story in Technology from Time: The Most Realistic VR Headset You Can Buy Is Now Much Cheaper

HTC has knocked $200 off the price of its Vive virtual reality headset, bringing the price down to $599 from $799. That makes it $200 more expensive than the Oculus Rift, which is currently on sale for $399 for a limited time, and the $399 standalone PlayStation VR.

HTC is also bundling VR apps such as Google’s Tilt Brush, EverestVR, and Richie’s Plank Experience, as well as a free trial of Viveport Subscription, a service that lets players try out up to five titles per month. When the Vive first launched for $799 in last April, its ability to provide room scale virtually experiences set it apart from the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR. With the Vive, it’s possible to walk around a designated space and interact with virtual objects by using (somewhat) natural hand motions. At the time, the Oculus Rift only supported experiences that were seated and stationary, requiring a handheld controller rather than gestures.

Much has changed since then: The Oculus Rift now also supports read more

New story in Technology from Time: Here’s Every Xbox One X Enhanced Game So Far

Microsoft kicked off Xbox One X preorders at the annual Gamescom convention in Cologne, Germany on Sunday. But it also took the lid off a sweeping list of current and upcoming games designed to take advantage of the souped-up Xbox One’s ability to render games more fluidly and at substantially higher resolutions.

The company says over 100 titles will be enhanced when the Xbox One X launches for $499 on November 7. At the moment, the tally is notably higher than 100 and includes a vast range of acclaimed already-released games, like The Witcher 3, Diablo III, Resident Evil 7, Fallout 4, Dishonored 2 and Final Fantasy XV. A few of those have yet to receive enhancements on Sony’s own 4K-angled PlayStation 4 Pro, which arrived last November with far fewer enhanced games, though developers have rushed to increase the number since. The Xbox One X is doubtless benefitting both from Sony getting the 4K train rolling and its own extra year in the oven.

The Xbox One X is notably more read more

New story in Technology from Time: These iPhone 8 Features Could Transform Your Smartphone

I’ve had the privilege of following Apple as a professional industry analyst since 1981. During those 36 years, I’ve learned a lot about Apple’s way of thinking and how its products impact the market, often becoming rapid mainstream phenomena that push the industry to adopt new standards, helping grow and diversify the PC and consumer electronics business.

A good example of this is when Apple put a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive in its very first Mac, at the now iconic desktop computer’s launch in January 1984. The PC industry had rallied around 5¼-inch floppy disks as the de facto medium for storing data. But Apple cofounder Steve Jobs and his team understood that the hardshell case surrounding 3.5-inch floppies was more durable—and more importantly, small enough to help them reduce the Mac’s physical size, making it seem almost svelte when measured against comparably bulky IBM-style PCs. In two years, the PC industry had moved to 3.5-inch floppy read more

New story in Technology from Time: Fitbit May Have a New Way To Detect an Irregular Heartbeat

When a 42-year-old patient came to Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in New Jersey to be treated after a seizure last year, doctors were able to identify exactly when his heart rate began to spike by looking at his Fitbit fitness tracker. It let doctors know he’d only been in a-fib for a few hours—well within the window necessary to employ a procedure that brought his heart back into rhythm before sending him home.

As a side perk, it’s already paying dividends, but Fitbit hopes to make its activity monitors even more useful in situations like these. The company is researching ways in which its wristbands can be used to assist those who suffer from atrial fibrillation by identifying periods in which abnormal heart beats may be occurring, a Fitbit executive told TIME. “When we start to look at our PurePulse [heart rate monitor] data that we get from all of these users, we began to see irregularities in heart rhythms,” says Subramaniam Venkatraman, Fitbit’s read more

New story in Technology from Time: Here’s How Much Faster Your Next Laptop Will Be

Just in time for the back-to-school shopping season, Intel is providing more detail about its new line of processors. The company’s eighth generation chips, nicknamed “Coffee Lake,” will power upcoming laptops launching this year and next.

Most notably, the company is adding two additional cores to its U series of processors, which are the ones found in thin notebooks and laptop-tablet hybrids. Those extra cores should give computers powered by the new silicon a speed boost when it comes to multitasking.

Overall, the refreshed processors will provide a 40% boost in performance over the company’s seventh generation chips, Intel says. That’s a seemingly huge jump compared to the difference in speed between Intel’s sixth and seventh generation processors: its seventh generation chips only increased productivity performance by 12% and web performance by 19% compared to its predecessor.

But of course, most laptop owners don’t upgrade their computers read more

New story in Technology from Time: You Can Finally Preorder the Xbox One X From These Places

As expected, Microsoft just divulged Xbox One X preorder details during a livestream prelude to the annual Gamescom show in Cologne, Germany. The $499 super-powered Xbox One games console, capable of running games at 4K native resolution, launches worldwide on November 7.

The version you can preorder now is called the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition. It’s still $499 with a 1 terabyte hard drive, but Microsoft describe this as a limited edition console with a custom design: the words “Project Scorpio” (the system’s pre-unveiling codename) emblazoned on the console and included gamepad, as well as “sophisticated and dynamic graphic pattern” across the system exterior.

“Get Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition before it’s gone forever,” reads the marketing teaser—there’ll be an unmarked $499 version at some point down the road, in other words. But Microsoft says the limited edition is only available until supplies run out.

Microsoft

Preorders read more

New story in Technology from Time: Xbox One X Preorder Information Is Finally Coming This Weekend

Preorder details about Microsoft’s vaunted Xbox One X, a souped-up version of its Xbox One games console due this November and designed to play games with breathtaking 4K fidelity, are coming this weekend, says Microsoft. The company says it’ll spill the beans about how to get your mitts on the device in the lead up to Europe’s annual Gamescom game show, this Sunday, at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Microsoft’s official Xbox Twitter account just tweeted the news alongside a teaser trailer for its Gamescom lineup, as well as a link to an Xbox Wire brief detailing some of its trade show plans.

Microsoft first confirmed the new Xbox One’s existence at E3 2016, codenamed “Project Scorpio,” then unveiled its read more

New story in Technology from Time: Here’s Everything in Sony’s Huge New PlayStation 4 Update

Sony just revealed that its next big PlayStation 4 update, dubbed version 5.00, will roll out immediately to select beta subscribers. It’s packed to brimming with changes, including a major Twitch video streaming fidelity upgrade and tweaks to the way players can engage with family and friends.

In a PlayStation blog post that details the changes, the company said the update—codenamed “Nobunaga” after Oda Nobunaga, an outsized late 16th century Japanese historical figure—will add what it calls “Family on PlayStation Network.” The idea is to make it simpler for families to use the console, from children to adults, in what seems an outreach maneuver designed both to highlight and codify the system’s cross-demographic, generalist media hub appeal.

The PlayStation 4 already offers basic parental controls as well as the option to create sub-accounts, but only lets those accounts opt in to or out of general group rules. With version 5.0, owners read more

New story in Technology from Time: Apple CEO Tim Cook Just Made a Huge Donation to Anti-Hate Groups After Charlottesville

Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged this week to donate $2 million to anti-hate groups, making the announcement in a memo to staff in which he condemned hate, racism, and bigotry following racially charged violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

The company will donate $1 million to Southern Poverty Law Center and an additional $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League. Cook also said Apple will match employee donations two-for-one to these groups and other human rights organizations until Sept. 30. In the coming days, Apple will provide a way for its customers to donate to the SPLC through iTunes as well, Cook wrote.

in the memo which was

“What occurred in Charlottesville has no place in our country,” Cook wrote in the memo first published by BuzzFeed News and confirmed by MONEY. “Hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. It scars and lasts generations.”

Cook’s move comes after Apple disabled read more

New story in Technology from Time: How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse With Your Phone

When the total solar eclipse occurs on Aug. 21, it will mark the first time the rare spectacle will be visible in the contiguous U.S. since 1979. In a shift from 38 years ago, many of the sky watchers this month will want to photograph the solar eclipse on their phone.

It’s not impossible to take a picture of the solar eclipse with a cellphone camera, but you’ll need extra equipment, both to keep your eyes safe and to get the best possible shot. “It’s one of the most challenging things to photograph, even with a good DSLR camera,” says Andrew Symes, an Ottawa, Canada-based astronomy photographer whose work has been published in outlets including The Weather Channel, io9, and All About Space magazine. “It’s challenging because the brightness of the sun is changing as the moon crosses in front of it.”

Still, there are ways to work around those difficulties, says Symes, who has been photographing the sun, moon and planets with his iPhone since read more